The Cafe by the Sea: A Novel

The Cafe by the Sea: A Novel

by Jenny Colgan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062662972
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 75,249
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

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The Cafe by the Sea 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Flora’s mother always pushed her for ‘more”, study more, dance more, dream big. And she succeeded in making a life, albeit a difficult one, as a paralegal in London. But now, a new client to the firm has landed on her small home island of Mure, and her boss wants her to help with the publicity and relations with the locals to get this multibillionaire tech giant what he wants. Flora was a wonderful striking girl, but always a bit reticent and unnoticed until her own internal conflicts about being back on Mure and her self-confidence start to sort themselves out. As anyone who has been in the upper Highlands can attest, blondes with fair skin and pale eyes are favored as otherworldly. The elders fawn over your specialness, the other kids tease you, and you constantly hear the refrain of “selkie”. Not an unusual sighting at all, these islands are still releasing secret Norse treasures from their earliest histories, a lineage often born out in the fair skinned, fair haired northern scots. But, always being made to feel different, even as being the only girl with 3 brothers would provide enough of, the separation caused jealousies at home between the kids, and made Flora feel her mother’s death keenly, and she’s never quite recovered. Now – the people around Flora are what cause most of the conflicts (and moments) in the story As it was her first return after her mother’s funeral, where harsh words were spoken to her family, she’s subjected to plenty of hard looks, and always imagines that people are talking about her behind her back. See, Flora is overly concerned with what others think of her, and this is most keenly felt when she is home among those who’ve known her from childhood. She’s meant to talk up the new owner of the grand house on the island, newly renovated and staffed with no consideration to those on the island. As life offers little opportunities and fewer options for locals, the emigration off island to work, school and make a life is always a concern. When you add in Flora’s boss – a brusque, no-nonsense, socially awkward American lawyer, anyone who has felt as if “newcomers” have invaded their life and plan to overturn everything, the stage is set – needing only Colgan’s skill with storytelling and character building to give it life. Here is where Jenny Colgan excels: her characters are flawed and desperately clinging to images of themselves as their best selves, even when they are riddled with insecurities and questions, and often resistant to change. Slowly, the magic of the island and it’s unique feel, a feel that is oozing from the pages that will work it’s magic on you as well as those in the book. No one is wholly without difficulties in this story, and there are moments that bring people together quite literally to be split apart seconds later over another old or imagined slight. From the old legends, singular scenery, temperamental weather and the incursion of modernity much to th dismay of many who cling to the old ways, this story goes from one high point to another. From visualizing the Orca beached on the sand to the joy of the ceiladgh and the Highland dancers, this story takes what could be anyone’s return to home after a long absence story to one that is a memorable and poignant journey to a place few of us will ever be fortunate enough to experience. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a welcome read considering I have been reading mysteries. I learned new things. I felt good after reading this.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Let me start by saying that I have read quite a few of Jenny Colgan's books and have loved all of them, for a few reasons this one didn't leave up to the rest and I just didn't love it. Flora fled her home town like a lot of young people do to get an education and then a job. Funny enough, her job has taken her back to her small hometown on a Scottish island and she must help a client get some things settled for their latest venture. She is returning home with her head low because she has thoughts that she departed abruptly and everyone in this small town is upset about it - are they?
Book_and_recipe_Examiner More than 1 year ago
Flora works at a law office and lives in cramped London apartment, seeking to escape her childhood memories of farming on a small, cold Scottish island. Mure is a place that now only holds flashbacks of her mother who passed away, the awful thing she said to her father at the funeral, and the trapped life she never wanted. London holds the thing she desires most: her handsome, tailored suit-wearing boss who only dates models and doesn’t know Flora exists. A new client named Colton, now the firm’s biggest and wealthiest, has fallen in love with the frigid island and wants a local to help him with a new building project. Flora’s boss Joel will stop at nothing to make the client happy, including volunteer Flora to go back home and accommodate Colton’s projects, even if it means having to visit the tiny town himself. The Cafe by the Sea is a humorous look at the contrast between city and country life, and where our souls long to rest. For similar book recommendations, discussion questions, and a themed recipe of light lemon cupcakes with raspberry jam centers and lemon cream cheese frosting, visit:
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
I recently read my first Jenny Colgan book, The Bookshop On The Corner, (review here), and was utterly charmed by it. I recommended it to several people, and each one enjoyed it as well. When I heard that Jenny had a new book publishing, I was excited to be offered a spot on her TLC book tour. Like The Bookshop On The Corner, The Cafe By The Sea is also set in a small town in Scotland. Flora is working as a paralegal for a law firm in London, having left her home in Mure and her fathers and brothers behind after her mother passed away. She has a few friends in London, and a major crush on her boss at the firm, Joel, an enigmatic, hard-driving man who serially dates women but doesn't appear to have anyone serious in his life. When one of Joel's biggest clients, Colton Rogers, buys up property in Flora's hometown, Flora is assigned the task of returning home to help Colton smooth over relations with the townspeople to get approval for his building plans. Flora does not want to return home to face her family and friends. Something happened at her mother's funeral, and she is afraid of having to deal with everyone in that aftermath. Flora's brothers and her father don't appear to be too happy to see Flora either. She is dismayed to find the family's home in disarray; the men don't keep it neat and tidy, and although they live on a farm, they seem to only eat takeout from the fish and chips place or eat food out of a can. Flora finds her mother's old recipes and cooks up some family favorites. In order to schmooze the townpeople, Flora opens up a cafe in town in a building owned by Colton, and right away it is a hit. Cooking helps Flora feel alive in a way that her law work doesn't allow her. I adored The Cafe By The Sea. The setting of the Scottish town by the sea is so vivid, and the characters are so wonderful, I wanted to know them all- her brothers Fintan, Innes and Hamish, Colton, Joel, Flora's friend Lorna, even Bramble the dog- they were all so endearing. There are romantic entanglements- Flora and Joel, Flora and Charlie the local hunk, and a sweet surprise romance for Fintan. (I confess that Fintan was my favorite character.) There are delicious food descriptions that will have your stomach growling (but fear not, Colgan includes recipes at the end of the book) and the setting is so enticing, you will want to book a ticket to Mure so you can eat at The Cafe By The Sea. I highly recommend this delightful novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always Jenny Colgan brings her stories to life. Can't put them down. Write faster!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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